Karl Drais was a German inventor and invented the Laufmaschine ("running machine"), also later called the velocipede, draisine (English) or "draisienne" (French), also nicknamed the dandy horse. This incorporated the two-wheeler principle that is basic to the bicycle and motorcycle and was the beginning of mechanized personal transport. Drais also invented the earliest typewriter with a keyboard in 1821, later developed into an early stenograph machine, and a wood-saving cooker including the earliest hay chest.
Drais's most influential invention was the Laufmaschine or velocipede, the earliest form of a bicycle, yet without pedals.On January 12, 1818, Drais was awarded a grand-ducal privilege (Großherzogliches Privileg) to exploit his invention. Baden had no patent law at that time. Grand Duke Karl also appointed Drais Professor of Mechanics. This was merely an honorary title, not related to any university or other institution.
Drais retired from the civil service and continued to receive his salary as a kind of inventor's pension.Drais died in his home town of Karlsruhe in 1851 penniless, after the Prussians had suppressed the revolution of 1849 in Baden and seized his pension completely to pay for the "costs of revolution".